Johnny And Al's Ads For TV Football...

BT's campaign is smooth but Sky Sports are the big cheese, the incumbent, the champ, and the David Beckham ads are going down rather nicely with our TV boys...

Last Updated: 01/08/14 at 09:00 Post Comment

Latest Articles

F365's 2014/15 Season Quiz - Questions

Post comment

With the new season just around the corner, how much do you remember about last season's Premier League. Oh, well then you're going to do badly...

All Articles

The race is on for your TV dollar. While the BBC is in the happy position of getting money from a government system that can put you in prison if you own a TV and don't pay for the privilege (411 people last year, according to The Independent), rival broadcasters Sky and BT have to rely on the beastly business of making a product and selling it without being able to bang up refuseniks.

So as the new season begins, those two are duking it out for your football TV cash.

Via a widespread advert campaign across all platforms, we learn that BT will give you free access to all their live football if you take their broadband. They're already reminding us that from 2015 this will include Champions League football too. After this year, ITV are kicked firmly into touch on that score, and one wonders how or if they can get back in the game. "Champions League football on ITV? Not for me, Clive. *Sob*. Literally not for me."

So it is a long-term game being played here. BT are serious competitors for Sky and when it comes to the current adverts, they're really stirring up our football juices for the new season. In a series of ads featuring '"unbelievable" games from last season such as Liverpool's 5-1 drubbing of Arsenal and Chelsea's 6-0 annihilation of, er, also Arsenal, they've built some cinematic minute-long pieces designed to make you forget all the heinous dross that passes for top-rank football in England. Last season's bottom 12 were, to our minds, the worst 12 in the history of the league.

In between sensational bits of skill, there's Rio on a sofa and Jose giving good face and also Daniel Sturridge, who we can't help feel is somewhat over-promoted in this vaunted company. But hey, he does a 'dance' that children like so...aw...nice.

These ads are running all over your TV, but also on the radio, currently being on heavy rotation on Planet Rock, featuring a hoarse Michael Owen stirred out of his usual drone coma by Liverpool being 4-0 up after 19 minutes in the game against the Gunners. "I've been in this game a long time...," says Mickey, to which we say, have you though, really? You're hardly any age at all and you virtually packed up aged 25.

The thing is, it works and works really well. It does make you want the season to start. Even the quick cutaways of David Moyes looking frightened as Manchester United concede another goal make you pine for the daily soap opera of the league. These are classy, well-realised trailers made with élan and no little art and show just how committed BT are to this gig. They're throwing money at it and it shows.

Sky effectively invented the fancy football ad, so how are they responding to the young Turks? Well, they have reached deep into their pocket and pulled out a big fat ace: Saint David of Beckham. In what we think is a rather sweet nod to the fact that, y'now, he looks a lot better than how he talks, David stays mute and suave as he introduces a jokey advert that makes the self-confident statement: we don't need to gild the lily with breathless demonstrations of our bells and whistles, we are already the big cheese, the incumbent, the champ.

The other message is that they have a European football channel coming on-stream. You can get this Sky Sports 5 for free if you're a Sky Sports customer. You can also get two years' worth of free Sky Broadband too. Nice.

A European football channel sounds like an absolutely delicious idea to us. Pulling together all the strands of European football in one easy-to-access location makes sense. Sky Sports 5 is where you'll find European qualifiers, UEFA Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey as well as other European football programming including Revista De La Liga and Champions League Weekly. They've also got the rights to show the Eredivisie, which us arousing us more than it possibly should.

But you will notice that it doesn't have German, French and Italian football, which is all on BT Sport. So for the Euro enthusiast, both channels are now essential purchases.

We've also seen an advert on social media for Sky's football. It is a full-length portrait shot of Jamie, Carra, Nev and Souey. This is their dream team and let's be honest, 75% of it is clearly the top TV football talent out there, so they're right to advertise it thus. We think it's interesting that Souness has been elevated to the top table with the three younger men - perhaps due to some of the love he has got online, maybe?

So BT has got a new gloss and style but Sky remains the market leader with the best analysis. The battle lines are being drawn and while it's a drag to have to spend so much money on it all, the breadth of choice and the contrast of styles is at last giving us comprehensive coverage. It also feels like TV executives have now finally grasped that we like to dine off more than one football menu.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Check out John's new series of crime novels about life, death, sex and UEFA Cup football.

Or Alan's illustrated sports books here.

Follow Johnny on Twitter here or Alan here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Keown hopes for top-class striker signing

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown hopes Arsene Wenger is in the market for a top-class centre-forward this summer.

Pochettino plays down Hernandez rumours

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has played down speculation linking Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez with a move to the club.

Tottenham warned over Berahino pursuit

West Brom captain Darren Fletcher doubts the club would agree to sell reported Tottenham target Saido Berahino for the £15million quoted.

Mail Box

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company